Ubuntu Now Supports The Allwinner D1 Powered Nezha RISC-V Board

Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 22 August 2022 at 05:35 AM EDT. 16 Comments
Last week Canonical announced official Ubuntu RISC-V images for the StarFive VisionFive board while this week they are expanding their supported RISC-V line-up to also include the Nezha single board computer powered by the Allwinner D1 SoC.

The Nezha single board computer is intended for AIoT development and features the Allwinner D1 SoC as their first RISC-V design making use of Alibaba's T-Head 64-bit core.

The Nezha features a single-core 1GHz RISC-V processor, 1GB or 2GB of DDR3 system memory, 256MB of spi-nand storage, Gigabit Ethernet, 2.4GHz WiFi and Bluetooth, and other basic functionality. Nezha's official Linux distribution of choice is "Tina Linux" with a Linxu 5.4 based kernel. But now more Linux distributions are beginning to support this low-cost board and Ubuntu 22.04 LTS is the newest option.

Of course, don't expect too much for performance with just a 1GHz RISC-V processor and up to 2GB of RAM. There is HDMI output on this development board but the performance will be very low and really just intended for IoT use-cases. Pricing starts out at around $112 USD for the Nezha board when ordering via AliExpress while the 2GB upgraded version is around $310 USD. The Nezha board doesn't appear to be currently available from any prominent western retailers. It's still a high price to pay for RISC-V especially with the $35 Raspberry Pi to deliver sharply better performance at this point. The Linux kernel has also had to add quirks/workarounds for dealing with the Allwinner D1 with some RISC-V extensions not being to spec.

In any event those wishing to learn more about the Allwinner D1 powered Nezha RISC-V board now with Ubuntu Linux support can learn more at Canonical.com. Those wanting to learn more about this RISC-V board itself can do so here.
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